Leaves 14(1) January 2012


Newsletter of the
Volume 14, Number 1 --- 15 January 2012



Website: iefworld.org
Article submission: newsletter@iefworld.org Deadline next issue 13 February 2012
Secretariat Email: ief@iefworld.org General Secretary Emily Firth
Postal address: 12B Chemin de Maisonneuve, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

From the Editor, Request for information for upcoming newsletters

This newsletter is an opportunity for IEF members to share their experiences, activities, and initiatives that are taking place at the community level on climate change action. All members are welcome to contribute information about related activities, upcoming conferences, news from like-minded organizations, recommended websites, book reviews, etc. Please send information to newsletter@ief.org.

Please share the Leaves newsletter and IEF membership information with family, friends and associates, and encourage interested persons to consider becoming a member of the IEF.



The United Nations General Assembly has decided that all organizations that were accredited to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 are automatically accredited to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro next June. The IEF is therefore accredited to the conference and can send its own delegation to Rio. The deadline for registration is 20 May. IEF members who plan to attend Rio+20 and want to be included in the IEF delegation should inform Arthur Dahl (ief@iefworld.org) as soon as possible, as this will help us to plan our activities in Rio. Please also let us know if you will be going as part of another delegation, as you can still support IEF activities while in Rio. We shall be collaborating closely with the Baha'i International Community and other Baha'i-inspired organizations attending the conference, and we are presently involved in joint planning of our activities.

The UNCSD Rio+20 bureau released on 10 January the zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, "The Future We Want": http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=324&menu=…. This draft is based on hundreds of submissions from governments and civil society, including IEF, compiled at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=115. It will serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the conference in June, starting in New York on 25-27 January. Some IEF members will be at the negotiations, so any support that we can give them will be helpful.

We have created a forum on the IEF web site for you to contribute your ideas and comments on the document at (https://iefworld.org/forum/205).
What is missing and should be added?
What might civil society do in complement to what the governments may decide?
What should IEF include in its statements for and activities in Rio?
IEF members can also start new forum discussions on topics relevant to Rio+20. Now is your chance to take an active part in an international process.

You can download a copy of the Zero draft of the outcome document, and you can download the bi-weekly Newsletter Rio+20: Making it Happen (or sign up for email) at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/



The report of the 15th IEF General Assembly, held during the IEF Annual Conference in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, on 11 December 2011, is now posted on the IEF web site at https://iefworld.org/genass15. There are also some additional materials (photos, summaries of talks, speaker biographical sketches, and links to videos of the sessions) from the conference now included in the conference report https://iefworld.org/conf15.

Baha'i Centre of Learning, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 11 December 2011

The IEF General Assembly, held during the 15th Conference of the International Environment Forum, opened at 13:30 on 11 December with a welcome from IEF President Arthur Dahl, followed by introductions from those present. There were 12 members present and 14 guests. Because time was short, it was agreed that the two present members of the IEF governing board would serve as officers of the General Assembly: Arthur Dahl (chair); Peter Adriance (substituting for Emily Firth as secretary). The agenda (Annex 1) was reviewed and approved.

Annual report

The annual report (Annual Report 2010-2011) was then presented briefly by Arthur Dahl and Peter Adriance and approved by the members.

Election of the Governing Board

The election of the Governing Board for 2011-2012 then took place with Erin O'Connor and Margaret Riebau serving as tellers. There were 11 ballots received by e-mail and 9 voting in person for a total of 20 voting. The board elected consists of: Arthur Dahl, Peter Adriance, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Emily Firth, Duncan Hanks, Victoria Thoresen and Dimity Podger.

Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year

The following topics were the focus of consultation:

Guidance on organizing the annual IEF Conferences – it was suggested that more explicit guidelines and expectations should be established for hosting and organizing the annual IEF conference, thus providing better direction to the host committee. It was explained that because the conference is held in different regions and under varying circumstances each year it is difficult to have a uniform set of expectations, however some models from past conferences could be offered. General principles would assist the organizers and give them a basic foundation from which to operate. To have guidance from the Governing Board in a spirit of accompaniment would be most appreciated.

Integrating environmental principles into community life – It was suggested that Bahá'í communities would find it helpful to have examples of how environmental principles can be integrated into community life. Could examples be included in the newsletter? It was noted that some case studies currently exist on the website, but more would be helpful, especially related to the core activities (devotional gatherings, children’s classes, study circles and junior youth groups).

Generation of learning resources – It was suggested that IEF might collaborate with other organizations in creating and making available learning resources. It was pointed out that there is an e-learning section of the site available to all, and more materials could be added there. It was asked whether IEF might explore giving academic credit for some courses. It was suggested that since accreditation is a rigorous process, it may not be worth the time involved for an organization like IEF to pursue. Arthur mentioned that the IEF is already involved in an accredited program which he is teaching in Geneva. Members who are professionals could possibly make IEF materials available in their own institutions.

Starting an Australian IEF Chapter – It was suggested that IEF explore setting up a chapter in Australia. It was explained that guidance received when the IEF was established discouraged the formation of chapters. However, the Australian friends who are interested could consult with the National Spiritual Assembly on how to bring this kind of network forward in their community. It was noted that a National Environmental Taskforce has been established in the Australian Bahá'í community, and it will be working on engaging interested people as part of its agenda.

Funding – It was suggested that membership dues might be established to assist the IEF in carrying out its functions and/or that a fund might be designated to receive individual contributions. It was explained that part of the hesitation in setting up a treasury has been the difficulty in determining how to identify the country in which to become recognized as a legal entity. With officers changing from year to year, it also makes it difficult to settle on a specific location. The IEF strategy has been to find another entity for each conference which could manage the funds on its behalf. It might be worth looking into ways that other organizations handle this issue.

Other business

There was no other business.

The General Assembly was adjourned at 15:10.




USA National Preach-In on Global Warming! Interfaith Power & Light now invites you, clergy of all religions, lay leaders, and green team members from across the country to participate in the National Preach-In on Global Warming over Valentine's Day weekend, February 10-12, 2012.

As the date approaches, IPL will send a variety of support resources to those who register, including:
Denomination-specific liturgical and thematic notes to help in the preparation of sermons, reflections, devotionals, Bible studies, and youth activities (Revised Common Lectionary, Roman Catholic Lectionary, Lectionary guides for the Jewish Torah cycle, Muslim, Unitarian and Baha'i connections)
Ready-to-go sample sermons on global warming
Global warming fact sheet and bulletin inserts
Valentine's Day postcards for policy makers (Love Creation, with a support clean air act message to Senators)
Preaching for the Planet 30-minute film in DVD format (view the trailer )
All materials are free-of-charge to those who register (while supplies last). Resources will be sent soon to those who register.

Registration deadline is January 17th!
Please join us in this powerful spirit-filled weekend as we unite across faiths in prayer and intention for our planet and share the serious concern of global warming.

So whether you’re clergy, a lay leader, or a green team member, sign-up for the National Preach-In on Global Warming today. Join hundreds of clergy from diverse faiths all speaking out about one of the most pressing moral issues of our time on the same weekend.

The weekend will feature sermons and other activities to express our love of the Earth and all of God's Creation. Go to http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/get-involved/campaigns/sign-up-all-p… to learn more about the National Preach-In on Global Warming being held February 10 - 12, 2012

One final note: I've had a few clergy contact me, because they have a conflict over Valentine's Day weekend and asked if it was OK to do something either before or after everyone else. We'll do whatever we can to support you if you need to hold Preach-In at a different time. We plan to send the Preach-In organizer's kits during the last week in January, so they most likely will reach you before the first weekend in February. We will also be posting the downloadable materials online soon and will notify registrants when those become available.

Thank you for joining me.
With faith,
The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham
Interfaith Power & Light

For those who register after the deadline for receiving print materials, there will still be plenty of resources to download to help you prepare your activity, sermon or reflection:
Denomination-specific liturgical and thematic notes to help in the preparation of sermons, reflections, devotionals, Bible studies, and youth activities
Ready-to-go sample sermons on global warming
Downloadable Global warming fact sheet and bulletin inserts
Printable Valentine’s Day postcards for policy makers
Clean Air Promise Sign-up Sheet

Material from the Bahá’í community for the 2011 teach-in are also available on the IEF web site at https://iefworld.org/CCIntroBahaiMaterials.


PERL International Conference in Berlin 19-20 March

IEF is a partner in the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL) and will be participating in its Berlin conference. For more information http://www.perlprojects.org/


Planet Under Pressure scientific conference in London 26-29 March

Some IEF members are presenting papers at this major international conference focusing on solutions to the global sustainability challenge, and providing an up-dated scientific basis for action at Rio+20. For more information: http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/

Updated 17 January 2012